Entries in Social Media (6)


A Year After Leaving TV...

I got an interesting comment on my Facebook Wall yesterday. Of course, I couldn’t let it stand without a snarky reply:
Obviously I blurred out Rick’s last name, so I’m not posting this to embarrass someone. I bring it up because I think I’m in the midst of a nostalgic phase. Isn’t it just astounding how life can change so drastically in a matter of months? Then you think about years and eventually decades. I’ll be turning 30 in a little more than a year. If life had gone “according to plan” when I was 20… wow. 
Now I'm hitting the one-year anniversary of starting my new career.
What have I been nostalgic about? Mainly my TV days, I suppose. It’s like anything else – give it a little time, and the aspects you hated won’t seem as terrible, and the good times will seem that much greater.
I even dug out the DVD of my final newscast as anchor and producer of NewsChannel 7 at Noon in Wausau. I posted it to YouTube because I thought it would be fun for people to see – those who could reminisce with me, and others who would get a kick out of how long my hair used to be. But I think there was also a selfish reason: I don’t want people to forget about me.

Forget about me? It sounds so silly, but that could be why I feel the need to type it out and put it on the Internet -- so I can get it out of my system! If I wanted to be known and liked, I could have stayed in TV. I could pursue more opportunities with the casting agency that has me listed in its talent database.
Instead, I feel as though I’m keeping a few aspects of my life in the public eye. It’s quite easy with social media, since that “public eye” is largely online, if you want to look at it that way. I have Twitter followers, Facebook friends and website visitors I don’t know. But you know a part of me, and I’m comfortable with that.
Although I’m not on television everyday, my voice is still heard. I can even offer my opinion every once in a while! And when I do remind myself about the unstable and explosive environment I left behind, I know I made the right choice for right now.
So apparently Rick thinks I was on TV yesterday morning. See? It’s like I never left…

Using Video on Social Media or Your Website

If you're looking for another way to engage your fans or customers on the web, consider using video.  Check out this video I made to give you some ideas:



Here are some reminders:

  • Be engaging
  • Don't concentrate too much on a script
  • Show something
  • Use graphics
  • Integrate keywords in description
  • Keep it short

Remember, this doesn't have to be commercial quality.  Social media in particular is much more accepting of things like shaky video. 

This post originally appeared on the Insight Creative, Inc. blog.


Adjusting to the Upgrade: PR 2.0

I’ve been told it’s nothing to worry about.  They say my years in media make up for my lack of formal education in public relations.  Still, I’ve felt the need to fill in some of the gaps.  I’ve been reading all the advice I can get.  That includes Putting the Public Back in Public Relations by Brian Solis and Deirdre Breakenridge.  It covers the transition from “old PR” to PR 2.0 and outlines ways to avoid being seen as a spammer or annoying flack.  The authors say social media must be championed by PR.  We’re no longer throwing messages at audiences and hoping something sticks.  Instead, we’ll initiate conversations with people and listen to what they have to say.  PR 2.0.

I knew PR had been undergoing a transformation.  (That’s something I expounded on during my various meetings and interviews during my job search a few months ago.)  But I didn’t realize there was a crisis.  The profession has apparently lost so much respect, the reputation of PR professionals might be beyond repair.

As a reporter, I worked with lots of PR people.  I’ll simply say some of them were more skilled in media relations than others.  The newsroom would laugh at them sometimes, and typically someone would announce that any of us would be able to work in PR without much trouble.  I was never one of those reporters who vilified PR pros.  In fact, I was a bit taken aback last year when fellow journalists admonished me for joining “the dark side.” 

Now I know public relations is much more than churning out press releases.  My current hurdle is reminding my co-workers of that fact.  I’m finally beginning to develop strategy for some clients, and for these first couple plans, I’m going by the book.  I integrate social media whenever possible, and always fight to avoid “spamming” reporters.  With every PRSA meeting, webinar and textbook, I’m learning to find my way in the world of PR 2.0.

 I wonder if there’s a book on how to transition from newsroom to agency, creating a new position in a changing and unfamiliar field. 

As always, stay tuned.  Perhaps I’ll have to write it myself.


Bracing for Negativity in Social Media

You'll find this post at the Insight Creative blog.
It’s probably one of many concerns for companies and business owners hesitant about jumping into social media: negativity. Comments from detractors, unhappy customers and the like.

There will be negative comments. Not necessarily someone out to get you (although that could happen) but maybe a customer who’s had an unsatisfactory experience with your business. Someone who’s not feeling all “puppies and rainbows” about you at the moment.

By creating social media channels, you are opening yourself up to these concerns. Remember, people had negative feelings before you had a Facebook page. You just didn’t hear about it. Now they have a forum to openly express their distaste with you.

But you have a chance to turn it around.

@briansolis states in Engage!,

Assuredly, every negative discussion is an opportunity to learn and also to participate in a way that may shift the discussion in a positive direction. If there’s nothing else that we accomplish by participating, we at least acquire the ability to contribute toward a positive public perception.

Think of it as an opportunity!

Some other points to think about if you encounter negative comments or any concerns:

Respond. Do your best to be understanding, and avoid being defensive. No matter how trivial or unfair you believe the claim to be, this customer needs your attention. If there’s no voice from the company, the conversation could spiral out of control.

Timeliness. There's no time to craft a one-page release to the media. Even a simple, “Thank you for your comment. Let me check on that for you.” can sometimes suffice until you rally the troops and come up with a response. Social media happens now.

Never, ever delete posts. (This of course excludes spam, profanity or highly-offensive comments.) Censoring your friends, fans, followers, etc. shows you don’t care what they have to say. Plus, they’ll catch on to what you’re doing. How would you feel if someone deleted your posts because they didn’t like what you had to say?

Turn the conversation around. Show your customers you care about their concerns, and figure out how you can help. If you can’t fix the problem, explain why. As Solis said, you can turn this into a positive experience if they see how much time and effort you put into helping.

Know what you’re getting into with social media. Customer service and reputation management are two of new media’s many opportunities.


NNSMB: The Social Media Game

My first New North Social Media Breakfast was a home run on my scorecard.  For those of you playing at home, September’s topic was Sports.  Our lineup included “players” from the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, PMI (The Green Bay Gamblers and Resch Center) and the Paul Hornung Award.

As we all know, “Winning isn’t everything.  It’s the only thing.”

(Apparently Vince Lombardi was not the originator of these famous words.  But he did say,

“Winning is not a sometime thing…it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while…you don’t do the right thing once in a while…you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit.”

Not quite as pithy.) 

My point, sports fans, is local leaders in the sports industry are trying to make sure their teams win.  That includes the social media game.

Here are a few thoughts from this morning’s breakfast:

Social media is another way to tell your story.  When the Green Bay Gamblers changed their logo and identity a few seasons ago, they wanted to include more swagger.  A little attitude.  Using social media has been the right play to call, allowing the team to show more personality in tweets and Facebook updates.  As for the Hornung Award, social media may be the only way to tell the story.  Social media is used to speak to the target audience: fans, sports information directors and the media.

Twitter is a news feed.  Facebook is for interaction.  Twitter is a great way to give game updates and distribute links to new content.  But UWGB says their tweets can get buried in students’ Twitter feeds.  So they like to send out similar tweets to get their message through.  Fans and alumni tend to interact more on Facebook, commenting on content.  The Gamblers and UWGB have found pictures to be very popular.  People like to see themselves!

“If you’re going to do it, do it right.” The Hornung Award group believes social media should be put in the hands of someone who’s really going to go for it.  Brendan Bruss of the Gamblers agreed, saying people “in the know” should be sending messages, because they’re the ones who can provide value.

Find a balance in your social media content.  The Gamblers want to have fun, show their swagger…  but also provide an impact.  Sure, they don’t have the rules and recruitment regulations UWGB have to follow.  But there are still guidelines, so everybody knows the message.  You can have a good time with your fans and customers within those guidelines.

But what about that other sports team?  Something about the green and gold?

The panel agreed they can’t worry about what the Packers are doing.  The NFL team will always win when it comes to traditional media, so our area’s smaller teams can try to take the social media trophy.  Thanks to all the panelists for sharing their insights!